Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Easy Street

You've seen the looks in magazines if you read any of the men's periodicals. Plaid is in. It's current. It's what you are supposed to be wearing for weekends, evenings, and yes....even with your suits.

For those who are fashion "current" instead of fashion "forward"..... (meaning you like what others are wearing now and don't want to be unique), this is for you.

It can be difficult to convince yourself to walk out the door with a plaid shirt on under a suit. The pattern is dominating and can be hard to pair with ties. An easy way to cure this is to have your plaids made with a white collar and white cuff. The contrast gives an edge of crispness to your look and dresses up the often casual plaid feeling.

Give it a try and inherit a look that was meant for the woods, with new significance in the boardroom.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Remove The Tags

Some things are meant to be broken. In the world of tailored clothing, nothing fits this mantra better than vent stitches and sleeve tags. Break them, and do so immediately!

Have you ever been walking down the street and see someone with a coat on, and notice that the vent in the back of the coat is still sewn shut? Even worse, that the vent is simply "tacked" closed at the bottom, causing it to pucker? Do that person a favor and kindly suggest to them that those vents are meant to be functional, and they should remove the baste stitch. They will thank you for it, I assure you.

Along those lines, but worse is the person who is still wearing the branding tag on the left sleeve of the suit coat, or outerwear piece. They want people to know they have on "Calvin Klein" or whoever it may be.... but what they don't know is that those tags are supposed to be removed when the sleeves are shortened, lengthened or just worn for the first time.

Oh, and when you "can't use your pockets" on nice pants or suit pockets - - It isn't that those pockets don't work, it's that there is a basting stitch in there. Just open the pocket and cut one of the stitches....Those pockets are meant to be used if you choose to do so.

People appreciate being educated, so the next time you see someone in need of a tip.... let them know how it's supposed to be worn. They will be embarrassed at first but thankful later on.... and will likely pass on your words of wisdom to someone else they see committing their old mistake.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bold with Color - Not Pattern

Dressing boldly doesn't have to mean putting on an oversized pattern in a contrasting color....instead, try doing so with off-beat splashes like purple and green (as seen in pictures). The appeal of the outfit lies in the lack of pattern. Notice that the tie, shirt and jacket are all solid with an influence of texture. They contrast greatly, but the pocket square pulls them all together.... The trouser is solid navy, which anchors the outfit and keeps the lower half subtle and under the radar.

Solids don't always have to be boring, but your mind must be willing to come up with some creative options to make them memorable. Do it right and you will be walking taller all day long.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cover Your Ass

Ever encounter someone in an unrelated industry who thinks they know more about your field of expertise than you do? That is one of the things that bothers me to no end, and I was reminded of it when someone stressed to me the importance of having his jacket length be long enough so he could "cup it" with his fingers while arms at ease. What this guy failed to recognize is that his arms are abnormally long, and doing so would result in an overall look that resembled a grown man with 10 inch legs. Not ideal.

The most important (timeless) rule for jacket length is that it be long enough to cover the curve of your seat. Accomplish that and you will be a step closer to a proper fit. The fact is, most men wear their sleeves and jackets too long which puts them a step behind in the quest to looking good.

Keep the rules simple and you'll find the art of dressing only gets easier the more you stay the course. Start with covering the curve of your seat and address your inevitable sleeve issue next.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who Are You?

In a time when everything old is now newer than ever, we should start to reconsider a small part of individuality that is often overlooked in today's menswear. It's simple, but impactful. Small in size but large in presence. It means different things to different people....but like it or not, the monogram is on the rise......again.

The up and comers in the corporate world (25-40 year olds) seem timid to put a monogram on their shirts for the fear that they will come off as high brow and egotistical. Understandable to a certain degree, until you take a step back and think about the logic behind them. The monogram that is.

They can be placed almost anywhere on the shirt. Your decision on where to put them will also say something about you. Left or right cuff for visibility. Lower waist area for humbleness. The font can say the most about you.....certain styles say that you're peculiar, you're stuffy, you're full of yourself, you're understated, etc....Just be sure to choose the one that most accurately suits you.

The point is: monograms add an element a notch above what's common. It doesn't mean they are stuffy, it just means you care about your appearance enough to invest in something unique...and for that, we appreciate you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Warm Legs with Taste

Living in a city where being outside (even if for a minute) is part of the routine, thinking logically about how to dress is essential for comfort and sanity. Introduce the re-popularized wool flannel trouser: it connotes a level of taste higher than your peers who wear year round wool, but also will enable you to withstand the elements of sub zero days when thighs freeze in lesser cloth.

Start with a couple of basic colors in medium gray and navy blue and wear them with everything in your closet. You are likely telling yourself that you have enough trousers already, but you don't. Like most other purchases that you procrastinated on, these additions will be another one of those things you wear often, and wonder why it took you so long to pull the trigger. Act now, and thank me later.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stash Your Cash Properly

Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to carry your wallet or money clip. If you are one of the millions of people who carry their wallet in their back pocket while wearing a suit, you should make a resolution this year to start carrying it where it is supposed to be held - - - - on the interior breast of your suit coat (on either side).

The benefit is at least 2 fold: First, if properly constructed, the jacket should eliminate the bulk of the wallet because the pocketing is meant to hold items the size of a wallet. When you stash it in your back pocket, a bulge sticks out of your rear, and that isn't ideal :) Secondly, carrying it in your jacket eliminates the potential back problems that may arise from sitting awkwardly because of an imbalance created from your wallet. There are many other reasons, but those 2 should be good enough to have you reaching in your chest instead of your ass.